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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

New England

By James Gates Percival (1795–1856)

[From Poetical Works. Collection of 1859.]

HAIL to the land whereon we tread,

Our fondest boast!

The sepulchre of mighty dead,

The truest hearts that ever bled,

Who sleep on glory’s brightest bed,

A fearless host:

No slave is here;—our unchained feet

Walk freely, as the waves that beat

Our coast.

Our fathers crossed the ocean’s wave

To seek this shore;

They left behind the coward slave

To welter in his living grave;

With hearts unbent, high, steady, brave,

They sternly bore

Such toils as meaner souls had quelled;

But souls like these, such toils impelled

To soar.

Hail to the morn when first they stood

On Bunker’s height!

And fearless stemmed the invading flood,

And wrote our dearest rights in blood,

And mowed in ranks the hireling brood,

In desperate fight:

O, ’twas a proud, exulting day,

For even our fallen fortunes lay

In light.

There is no other land like thee,

No dearer shore;

Thou art the shelter of the free;

The home, the port of liberty

Thou hast been, and shalt ever be,

Till time is o’er.

Ere I forget to think upon

My land, shall mother curse the son

She bore.

Thou art the firm, unshaken rock,

On which we rest;

And rising from thy hardy stock,

Thy sons the tyrant’s frown shall mock,

And slavery’s galling chains unlock,

And free the oppressed:

All, who the wreath of freedom twine,

Beneath the shadow of the vine

Are blessed.

We love thy rude and rocky shore,

And here we stand:

Let foreign navies hasten o’er,

And on our heads their fury pour,

And peal their cannon’s loudest roar,

And storm our land:

They still shall find, our lives are given

To die for home;—and leant on Heaven

Our hand.